shot swan recovers - RSPCA - Middlewich

A swan that was bleeding from the nose after being shot in the neck has been released back to the wild after treatment at RSPCA Stapeley in Nantwich.

Passersby who spotted the swan’s plight on the canal at King’s Lock in Middlewich contacted the RSPCA and officers Lauren Bradshaw and Anthony Joynes attended to catch the bird and take him for treatment.

Animal collection officer Lauren said: “The poor swan had a stream of blood pouring from his nostrils and his usually snow-white features were splattered with blood.

“He also had a lump on his neck which, on further investigation, we discovered was due to a lodged pellet.

x-ray of shot swan
x-ray of shot swan

“It’s horrendous that despite the lockdown, people still seem to be able to get out and about to hurt animals.

“We believe this poor swan may have been the target of a deliberate attack – something that, while rare, we still see far too often.”

The officers caught the swan on March 30 and took him to the charity’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre on London Road for treatment.

Veterinary staff x-rayed the bird to find some sort of pellet lodged in his neck.

Stapeley Grange manager Lee Stewart said: “It was clear to see on the x-ray so we put the bird under anesthetic to take a closer look.

“Thankfully, it hadn’t caused any serious damage.

“However, due to the high risks associated with surgery – such as damaging major blood vessels – vets decided against trying to extract the pellet.

“After several days of being closely monitored and a week on antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain relief, the swan was soon outside with some of the centre’s other resident birds.

“We monitored him for a couple of weeks and after a steady weight gain we decided he was ready to be released back
to the wild which is our aim for all the birds and animals who come to us.”

After receiving a clean bill of health, Lauren returned the bird to the same area in Middlewich to release him back to his

recovered swan released
Recovered swan released

She added: “I’d barely finished untying the swan bag when he was out in a flash!

“He was obviously feeling much better and was keen to get back to his mates.

“It was lovely to see him stretch his wings and leap onto the water to glide around with the other swans. It’s what this job is all about!”

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals and keep animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care, please donate whatever you can spare at

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